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Dr Hook’s Ray Sawyer dies aged 81


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Ray Sawyer, of Dr Hook & the Medicine Show, died after a brief illness

Ray Sawyer – the eye-patch wearing singer who found fame with Dr Hook & the Medicine Show in the 1970s – has died aged 81.

Sawyer, the voice behind Cover of Rolling Stone, died in Daytona, Florida, after “a brief illness”, according to US website Page Six.

He joined Dr Hook in 1969, two years after he lost an eye in a car accident.

Despite not being the lead singer, his eye patch – and cowboy hat – meant he was the most easily recognised.

But Sawyer, who was born in Chickasaw, Alabama, in 1937, did take lead vocals on their biggest hit, 1972’s Cover of Rolling Stone.

Dr Hook did eventually appear – in caricature – on the front of the famous magazine in 1973.

“Here was this little band from Alabama standing on the corner saying, ‘Hey, put us on the cover’, and it worked,” he later said, according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

“It was a dream come true.”

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Sawyer (right) performs in New York with Dennis Locorriere in 1979

The band’s other hits included Sylvia’s Mother and When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman.

Sawyer left the band in 1981 to pursue a solo career, but went on to spend much of his later career touring with a spin-off group named Dr Hook featuring Ray Sawyer.

He retired just three years ago.



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